My youngest passed his driving test yesterday and there was much relief by us parents as no more £25 p.h. lessons, and celebration by him as he has got the keys to more freedom. However it is also a terrifying moment when you realise that your child can now take off whenever he needs and he is no longer tied to your apron strings. A friend of mine used to tell her children, every time they set off in their car, to remember that a car is a potential killing machine and therefore with it comes responsibilities. Responsibilities is a bit of a dirty word to a 17 year old. It is probably the first time that they are in control of their life and you won’t be there to say, turn the music down, concentrate, are you sure you should be driving in these conditions? Of course driving solo comes too at the time in their lives when they are in the first throws of drinking and the two do not mix but like all humans there will be a time when they take a risk and drive when they shouldn’t. Most of us probably have done so but that does not excuse us and certainly doesn’t give permission to our kids to do the same. Don’t do as I do but do as I say!! There are a few road trips made with Ellie & Grace from many, many years ago that are best now forgotten!!
In Australia there is a much better graduated system of learning to drive, it takes more time though it starts at 16 years of age but each stage is tested rigorously and if you commit any offences whilst carrying one of their provisional licenses then you have to start that section again. It is so much more thorough. My son has learnt to drive in rain, snow and ice due to the varied weather conditions we have had since January when he began but one of my children took their test having never driven in the winter!
I guess I will always worry about my kids, the price of parenthood, but I think I would like to buy my son a car which only goes up to a speed of 40 mph, has a tracker so I know where he is at all times, and the ignition doesn’t work if the driver has been drinking. No I am not a controlling parent just one that is realistic about what the young are like.
(They haven’t changed from our day have they Grace & Ellie?)